10 April 2021

Herby Asparagus with Toasted Hazelnuts

Charred asparagus tossed in a herby basil and mint dressing, with a garlicky butter bean puree and toasted hazelnuts. The perfect way to celebrate asparagus season, serve as a side dish to a main or as part of a meze, picnic or BBQ spread!

If you're cooking for others this is a sure-fire way to impress them, with restaurant-quality food that's pretty simple to make! Blitz up the butter beans to make the puree, toast the nuts, and saute the asparagus in a pan, before tossing in your herb dressing! Full of good things, like protein from the beans and nuts, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals too, this is such a wonderful side dish.

This dish can be served immediately, whilst the asparagus is still warm, or prepared in advance and served cold - both are delicious! Regardless of how you serve it, the butter beans will contain higher levels of resistant starches, as the beans were previously cooked and cooled. Resistant starch acts similarly to soluble fibre, where it passes through to and is fermented in the large intestine, producing short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are beneficial for the gut and overall health [1]. Because of its pathway once ingested, resistant starch helps to control your blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels,  keep you fuller for longer, and can even help with mineral absorption from food [2]. Resistant starches are typically found in foods higher in carbohydrates such as pasta, bananas, potatoes, grains, legumes and seeds and are increased when these foods are cooked and cooled (and even reheated again), before consumption [3]. I'm a big believer as a foodie in leftovers (all the taste without any additional effort!), but there's also a nutritional reason for them too! Though it's important to note that this increased resistant starch is one benefit to leftovers and that vitamins levels will be reduced slightly from the original meal, due to additional time and re-heating. 

If you make any of my recipes, don't forget to snap a pic and tag me on socials & stories @euphoricvegan

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Herby Asparagus with Toasted Hazelnuts | Serves: 4 | Time: 20-25 mins

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Sieve
  • Bowl or jug
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Blender/food processor
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Saute pan (I used a cast iron)


Butter bean puree:
  • 1 can butter beans in water (235g drained beans)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Juice 1/2 lemon 
  • Salt


  • 1/4 cup skinless hazelnuts
  • 400g asparagus
  • Large handful basil leaves
  • Large handful mint leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Chili flakes  


  1. Drain the butter beans over a bowl or jug, to reserve the liquid (aquafaba). Add the butter beans to the blender jug, along with a peeled and roughly chopped clove garlic, juice 1/2 lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup aquafaba. Blitz into a smooth puree and set to one side.
  2. Heat the pan up on a medium heat, then add the hazelnuts to the pestle and mortar and gently pound to break them into smaller pieces. Add the hazelnuts to the warm pan and keep moving around to gently toast all sides - they'll continue to brown a little once removed from the heat, so be sure not to toast too much. 
  3. Chop the herbs into small-ish pieces and add to the pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt, pound until broken down and in small pieces. Then add 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp aquafaba and 1 tsp lemon juice.
  4. Carefully wipe the pan out of any hazelnut crumbs and heat on medium-high. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and chop each spear into 3-4 pieces. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the asparagus pieces. Cook for 5 mins, moving around occasionally, then add 2 tbsp water and a pinch of salt.
  5. Allow the water to evaporate and remove from the heat, then stir through the herb dressing.
  6. To serve, swoosh the butter bean puree on the plate, top with the asparagus, toasted hazelnuts, generous amounts of black pepper and chilli flakes and a little drizzle of olive oil.
  7. Enjoy as a side as part of a main meal, meze, picnic or BBQ!
Cassidy xx